With the European season coming to a close, a few of the Champions Cup semi-finalists opted to rest a few of their stars this weekend in preparation for next weekend.
Saracens and Munster face off in the first semi-final at the Ricoh Arena. Both sides decided to rest top players this weekend with Munster still ending their clash with Bennetton Treviso on the right side of the rest while Saracens weren't as fortunate.
Saracens head coach Mark McCall opted to rest England Internationals George Kruis, Jamie George, Owen Farrell and others while Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje started from the bench. That proved to be costly for Saracens as they fell to relegation threatened Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.
Alex Goode, Michael Rhodes and Jackson Wray did have strong games against the Bears but McCall will hope his side can bounce back quickly against Munster.
On the flipside, Johann van Graan also opted to rest players for their clash in Italy but managed to beat Treviso 29-37. Billy Holland and Chris Cloete put their hands up for selection next week while Fineen Wycherley and JJ Hanrahan were excellent for Munster.
Leinster host Toulouse in the second Champions Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Leinster fell to Glasgow in their PRO14 clash this weekend with Jonny Gray staring for the Scottish side making an incredible 43 tackles.
UPDATE: Jonny Gray made 4⃣3⃣ tackles against Leinster 🔢— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) April 14, 2019
4⃣3⃣ Tackles made ✅
0⃣ Tackles missed ❌
That's FORTY-THREE TACKLES 🤯 pic.twitter.com/enuGJoEsl5
Rob Kearney topped the running metres in the clash while Jordan Larmour beat an impressive 7 defenders, two more than any other player. Leinster dominated possession and territory in the clash but in the end it was the visitors who came out on top scoring 5 tries to Leinster's 4.
Toulouse fielded close to their first choice starting line up in their top of the table clash with Clermont in the Top 14.
Toulouse came out on top in a thrilling 91-point encounter with Sofiane Guitoune (2), Cheslin Kolbe, Richie Gray and Romain Ntamack all scoring for the Top 14 Gaints.
Toulouse willl rue their errors and defensive fralities against Clermont as the conceded 5 tries while they will also be sweating on the avaliability of Zack Holmes and Iosefa Tekori.
Tekori was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and conceded a penalty try while Holmes was helped off the field shortly after half time.
Yoann Huget, Thomas Ramos, Richie Gray and Cheslin Kolbe all looked in fine form for Toulouse.